Free «Motherhood as Depicted in Rosemary’s Baby» Essay Sample


Human fear and depression are some of societal orientation which is either natural or artificial. The fear to give birth in most cases generate from the artificial situation in man's everyday life. This is because most animals do not fear motherhood. However, it comes to man, the situation has been changing since motherhood has been associated with fear and depression. This fear and depression are artificial because most people are so much engulfed in the amorphous life of movies and television. The influence of television and horror movies has created a culture of fear and depression toward motherhood since it has been badly portrayed in the media.

The critical importance of mother needs no authentication. This because the very existence of mankind with all the innovation man has made toward physical or emotional maturity signifies the critical nature of motherhood. In this regards, motherhood is a very important aspect of human life which not only bring hope and life but also ensures the continuity of humankind. However, motherhood has been associated with fear, depression and repression. This is because the several reasons:

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Condition of Breastfeeding. The discourse on infant development and how breastfeeding impact creates an impact on it continues to intrigue academic scholars’ world wide. It is significant to note that, an examination of how human beings develop comprise of the domains of physical, cognitive and social orientations. Towards this, the domains occur throughout human life time. In this regard, early child development which is supported strongly by breastfeeding lays a formidable foundation in health professional in their quest to offer maternity services effectively. However, this breastfeeding give many women fear and depression. Technological advancements and globalization are some of the contemporary challenges to cope with in the analysis of early child development

Fear of Physical Change. Nothing is as scaring to a person as change. Motherhood normally comes in with change of body, responsibility as well as emotional change.  Since many people sometimes associate motherhood with a greater potential to result in death, or loss of physical posture. Resistance to human change comes from a fear of the unknown or an expectation of loss. The front-end of an individual's resistance to change is how they perceive the change. The back-end is how well they are equipped to deal with the change they expect. An individual's propensity to cope with resistance to change is determined by whether they perceive the change as good or bad, and how severe they expect the impact of the change to be on them. Their ultimate acceptance of the change is a function of how much resistance the person has and the quality of their coping skills and their support system.

Influence of Television and Movies. Motherhood comes with fear of the unknown (Almond 21).  Motherhood is always associated with fear due to the effects of television and movies. However it is it is a known that individual’s love to be scared by horror movies but the effect of such influence is long lasting fear to motherhood. Some horrified faces which portray motherhood as a death ticket is very scary and put women under great fear. They simply love to watch the repulsive aliens and the blood dripping down the horrifying face. Watching horror flicks by women, even just for entertainment is unacceptable since the movies empathizes the condition on a bad light. There should be a sign of caution one never know when you start developing a fear for almost everything around you. Therefore people should be cautious when watching horror movies on motherhood.

Effects of Watching Scary Films on Motherhood

Anxiety towards Motherhood. A visible negative effect of scary movies for mothers is that they cause anxiety. Anxiety due to horror movie can have a great negative effect which can be associated with motherhood.

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Motherhood cause Sleeplessness. The portrayals of motherhood as a responsibility which make one to lose sleep make many women to associate motherhood with fear and depression. Depression has an immediate psychological impact of scary movies. Motherhood may cause lack of sleep for a few days, watching a horror movie. It is prudent to note that an individual who is addicted to horror movies may develop a chronic fear which makes him or her to require the use a night-light while sleeping. The ever playing thoughts of the terrifying characters and a deadly event of motherhood which sometimes appear in most horror movies may haunt, leading to a situation where people fear motherhood due to bad episodes associated with it.

Acquiring and Development of Everlasting Fear. The overshadowing of scary movie is mainly characterized by a fear on the episode of what is being shown. When a person is watching movies which portray motherhood as a big gamble of life and death, it instills dangerous fears which not only make people to associate motherhood with repression but also with depression. He/she may cry, scream, tremble, shake or even nauseate, if the horror film has really scared him/her. Motherhood brings on the fear of losing control and shape, fear of dying when one develops a complication as always shown in horror movies. As a result of watching a condition portrayed in the scary movie, an individual can develop a phobia towards motherhood since it is always portrayed badly. First, a woman faces physical transformation in her body. Women like their body therefore any change in the body as a result of pregnancy make them fear motherhood. In addition, the responsibility which is associated with motherhood in most cases bring a lot of problems for many women since they see motherhood as an act with makes them so much preoccupied.

Motherhood as Illustrated in Rosemary’s Baby

Motherhood as Illustrated in Rosemary’s Baby: Rosemary’s Baby is a film that is based on the best-selling novel of the same name. Roman Polanski directed the film that was then released into the market in 1968 in New York City. The movie was stage managed in Playa del Rey, California and New York City. The movie was produced by William Castle and went on to win the Oscars under the Best Supporting Actress (Gordon) in the same year that it was produced. The film which is a seminal horror is a thriller that makes the audience to expose their fears and anxieties in the social cultural perspectives in the society. Polanski, the film director is a scholar in complex psychological studies and the film was an expression of the scholar’s inquiry into the theme of motherhood and Satanism. According to Valdez, some of the director’s studies are: Knife in the Water (1962), Repulsion (1965), Cul De Sac (1966), Chinatown (1974), and The Tenant (1976). The film was therefore a reflection of Polanski thoughts on horror and the role of motherhood in horror films.

The film tells the story of the modern city life as a juxtaposition of the ancient lives of ancient traditional societies. The traditional societies practiced devil worshiping, witchcraft, and traditional rites. The film presents dualities of the two social set ups; from the traditional society to the modern society by moving cameras from the bright streets of New York to the traditional society represented by old-fashioned architectural designs with ominous and dark colors. The traditional design of the ancient apartment constructions is critically out of time in the modern wave of development. In most perspectives, the characterization of the social set up defines the character of the films itself. The director manages to “integrate his themes of paranoia, alienation, identity confusion, and ‘otherness’ so effectively as to make Rosemary’s Baby an important work in his oeuvre.” The film is a success because of the subconscious anxiety that it instills on the audience when it comes to the execution of horror.

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Rosemary Woodhouse is just wedded and they move with her husband into the Bradford in an environment that is enticed into the darkest history. Though considered a country girl, she is taken from the America’s heartland into a society that is entangled into the ebb of traditional conspiracies. Mia Farrow, who acts as Rosemary is a first-time mother, gives an incredible trait in the film. She is young, childlike, and possesses an amazing strength. Her childlike frailty and the strength she possesses make the audience to easily identify Rosemary’s quandary.  Polanski uses Rosemary in a different role to that of the original novel. The director represents the character as a person in limbo between a fearful fantasy and a bleak reality. The main character in the film is Rosemary who is a first-time mother. Polanski uses motherhood to capture the frailty of the female gender in horror films in order to instill anxiety to the audience. As a scholar of complex psychological issues, the director understands how to provoke the audiences’ attention to bring the essence of doing a horror movie. Rosemary’s supernatural experiences are could be based on her individual imaginations due to the things she underwent. The predicaments of rosemary’s experiences are superficial and coincide with the sinister motives of the plot.

 The director of the film uses pregnancy of Rosemary as a representation of the genetic development that occurs due to hormonal changes in order to change the perspectives an individual. Polanski uses pregnancy to arouse the audiences’ minds with satanic and good exploits of the body dichotomy. The audience remains at cross roads when it comes to the comprehension of survival when motherhood sets in. balancing the survival tactics and the essence of motherhood gives the director the potential to represent ambiguity, sanity, and surreal edge in the film. Hence, any audience viewing this film would certainly consider the paradox of the couple’s life in the modern world in an ancient set up. On several occasions, the main character is caught in oblivion of the symbolic world of witchcraft and witches. The viewers are left wondering if either Rosemary is insane or if the Bradford community in engulfed in the coven of witchcraft and hallucination.

The concept of motherhood is well captured by the director as Rosemary’s because from the start, rosemary has a desire to have a child. Base on the desire, the whole film builds its diabolical plot that surrounds the character in the entire film. The depiction that that child-bearing fascinates Rosemary in clear as describes herself as ‘stock fertile’ on giving her family account to Minnie. She manages to sell the ideal of motherhood to Minnie and her husband and the couple starts admiring the way the Woodhouse’ family carries itself. Nonetheless, her pregnancy then turns to misery in order to make turn around Rosemary character as an outsider. Polanski use the character to bring out the double role of Rosemary, which essentially builds the character as a protagonist. She is not a modern and urban person like her husband after her movement to Nebraska. While Rosemary struggles to adapt to the new life, Guy feels at home with the life in the city. In addition, Rosemary is considered an outsider in the confines of the Bradford community. There is contradiction of Rosemary’s character traits and those of the Bradford people. While she is naïve and open, the people at Bradford are secretive and sly.

Rosemary feels alienated and lonely due to the events taking pace during her pregnancy. The development of the fetus inside her womb comes with bodily paranoia as the gap between her and the world she knew continue to widen. During her pregnancy, she struggles to mend all the problems that make her life difficult. According to Valdez, “Polanski wants us to feel her victimization at the hands of everyone she trusts. As viewers, men and women alike are unsettled by the dilemma of this soon-to-be mother.” When Rosemary gives birth, the person surrounding her tells her that the newborn child has died even though she hears the cry of the baby. The audiences expect the predicament to resolve; but in the end, Rosemary’s cry cannot be classified as real or imagined. Polanski uses pregnancy to bring dilemma to the audience using the strong mother-child bond that exists. The last short of the film puts Rosemary in an environment where she is surrounded by the coven. Here, she feels detached from her crying child. Hence, Polanski brings out motherhood as a real experience that has more magic powers than evil.


Motherhood is a very important aspect of human life in terms of reproduction. The survival and existence of mankind is strongly pegged on motherhood. Therefore, it should not be an aspect of fear. The dynamic and rapid technological change has come up with horror movies which inflict a lot of fear in people concerning motherhood. This is because sometimes motherhood is portrayed as a possible cause of death and it is full of responsibilities. It is therefore, prudent for people to embrace motherhood as a normal course of life in the society.

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